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William Dobson Education. (2012) 2012 Texas Book Festival William Dobson, 'The Dictator's Learning Curve Inside the Global Battle for Democracy.' New.

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  CSPAN    Book TV    William Dobson  Education.  (2012) 2012 Texas Book Festival  
   William Dobson, 'The Dictator's Learning Curve Inside the...  

    December 16, 2012
    4:15 - 4:59am EST  

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>> good afternoon. my name is jess alamein. i'm a senior editor at texas monthly magazine and i'm very happy to be here talking with william jay dobson, author of "the dictator's learning curve: inside the global battle for democracy," which came out in june or doubleday. this is the book itself from a senior copy will not be festooned with all these post-it notes. as well as the politics and foreign policy editor at slate. he goes to the foreign newsmagazine and when he was the managing editor of foreign policy magazine counted twice won the award for general excellence, which i can tell you with a good feat in itself and particularly impressive given that foreign policy is a relatively small circulation journal, not a deep-pocketed magazines like "vanity fair" or "esquire." both articles and essays have appeared in "the new york times," "washington post" and "wall street journal" and his provide analysis for abc, cnn, msnbc and npr. he's in washington d.c.
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her very happy to have them with us here today. [applause] the dictators learning curve is a look at an arms race, speaking metaphorically that dictators and democratic activist trying to overthrow and both sides have had to up their game in recent years. for those of you who think foreign policy is about trade agreements, arms treaties come arcing border disputes, let me assure you it's a lively read a stun dobson's travels across the world and the steam setting, anecdotes and memorable characters. they are an admiral. i'm supposed to say the top of the hour were going to lead about 15 minutes for a question-and-answer session. people to line up at the microphone in the middle aisle and afterward totally done, we're going to go to the book signing tent, where will the signed copies of the book.
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so, to start off panic and you give us a brief description of the central thrust of your book. >> sure, absolutely. for two and a half years i spent time traveling to a number of different authoritarian countries and around the world may be as helpful for me to mention those. i did time in russia, china, egypt, venezuela and even a few more. but i'm looking out of the book and what i set out to do is look at the struggle between democrats and dictators. which you find this is a wonderful political science literature out there on the topic. but in fact, it's actually lived by people in the very concrete way on a day-to-day basis. just a couple hours before he came over here this morning, many people are profiled in russia were just arrested. this is a fluid stream of income late and i wanted to look at how these two sides are facing off against each other. one of the things i don't think
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we often realize is the battle between democracies and dictatorships going on today as opposed to the not so distant past is actually almost always die struggle between individuals. and so why did i choose the countries i chose? i chose them because these are some of the most sophisticated regimes. what you find as it's actually, i think you could guess this from 20 above and if you are in anyway following events. it's a very hard time to be a dictator. it's very difficult. this is not an easy game. it is the case because there's never been more forces against them than there are now. you see that with the rise of the internet, collapse of the soviet union, the chief lifeline for so many. you see the expansion of the democracy itself. and so from the period of 1974 to about 2005 was a moment of tremendous democratic growth.
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but then i say 2005 because since 2005, we've seen a decline in political pluralism around the world. six consecutive years that has but i wanted to do this book was examined by that wise. unless you find is that these regimes understand that in a more globally interconnected world that the past forms of coercion can no longer be the blood tools that were so familiar from the 20th century. but think of mouse resolution or campaign, stalin's gulag, killing fields. now it's actually a much more subtle form of repression that are used by these regimes and they are refashioning dictatorship for a modern age. so that's the main thrust. and every country traveled to come i always meet with two groups of people. i meet with people serving the regime come is serving a dictator, political advisors i.d. labs, karami's and also his
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meeting with people trying to offend appeared at his meeting with the students, academics, lawyers, bloggers, dx military and looking at the struggle as it's being waged. >> you get a bunch of research before you went out on the streets. he did a bunch of study on the topic you when you went to the field and spoke to people, whether things that surprised you didn't expect? >> absolutely. one of the big takeaways for me for the book is that despite the fact we've seen this decline and political pluralism, i actually left this project far more optimistic than when i began it. the reason was because of the people in his meeting challenging these regimes. these were not romantics. these are not starry eyed human rights act to this. these were battle scarred pragmatic tacticians. the people challenging this regimes come from all walks of life. for example, one person who
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sticks up for me as a woman in russia, who when i met her she was a mother of two on maternity leave and there was while she was on maternity leave so she began as an environmental activist. she had no political background whatsoever. family with a political now today, she is one of vladimir putin's chief opponents. she's 35, about five feet two and a thick collar in the book, she's napoleon without the complex. these are remarkable people really take incredible risk, but they do it wisely. that's the thing that's so incredible if they're actually very pragmatic and looking at the risk and they take chances when they fail, but the mistake we made do in their struggle from afar as we think the story ends with their failure. even when they are failing, they're going back at reviving the notes. they're looking at what they did and say okay, what did we do wrong here?
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how we do it differently next time? it's that type of learning. my book is called "the dictator's learning curve." it could also be called democracies advocate warning rule. but it did are scarier that makes you want to buy the book him as we focus on that, but the struggle between both. >> you talked about russia and the books first chapters about russia and vladimir putin's regime. i found another silly fascinating. i don't follow russian affairs particularly closely know is regarded putin is an autocratic thug with unusual flair for the public gesture. the shortlist for his writing, but your book draws a portrait of him as a very canny, very subtle thinker who has earned a great deal from the fall of the soviet union. can you tell us what you learned in the design? >> putin is fascinating because to understand you have to go back in time to his kgb history. he was serving his one forum post was interesting in the late
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1980s when incredible place to be. he was in one of the most totalitarian dictatorships of that age and he watched a collapse from 85 to 90. so he understood and said very early on that he understood all the way back in the 80s that a system built on walls could not stand. somebody attacked human rights activists in russia today, and they say you know what quickly the constitution. our constitution is as good as yours. the only problem is the only bright that is observed is the right to leave. and so, putin accomplishes what passports with the soviet union accomplished before, which is if you're a troublemaker, go ahead, leave. it's been the exodus has really been incredible. i met with one of his chief political strategist, who is now no longer. he had a falling out, but he has been with them for many years and only recently had a falling out with him. he has gone to tremendous to
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make up for the blind spots if you felt that dictatorships out. for example, the russian duma is rubberstamp parliament and never will tell you that. members of russian duma told me that. they said they should rename the parliament in russia the ministry of law making because it's just an extension of the executive in every way. but what happens is when you lose the legislature, the legislature has a role, which is the people working there, the representatives are closer to the population. somebody put forward an idea for a vodka meat get feedback as to whether people in this part of the country will like it to my people in this country won't like it. and that's useful it is your law making. after making it a toothless organizationcome up with an city law something which is quality information, feedback on their loss. so he created a new institution designed by the man i interviewed but essentially
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comes a with that sort of covers that plane spotted by appointing people who are experts on human rights, law, media, what have you. some even critical of the regime. they advised the kremlin on the kremlin on the law that is putting forward because some of these people try to push for change from the inside. some of them are opportunists. but it does importantly is actually lets him have some information they would otherwise have lost. this is not gadhafi and pet tigers. this is sophisticated staff. >> you describe that in your russia chapter. later in one of your chapters of china covey discuss they had to put a similar mechanism in place to give information from the village people and such -- on the people who live in the villages. but the talent is very different. it seems to me he was just wanting to maintain power by getting information from the
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hinterlands, where is the chinese communist party is clearly staying in power. i have a sense they genuinely want to make the people's lives better. it leads to the question, china's authoritarian regime that has brought tremendous economic development to his people. russia is a regime that is not. by the difference between the two countries? >> at industry the chinese communist party wants to improve the lives of people, but they want to improve the lives of people said they can remain in power. that is how it goes to a conclusion. they understand that a dictatorship is no different from a democracy, that she still rule from the consent of the people. if everyone in the country believes you should no longer be in power, then your days can be numbered and we are seeing that in so many places. we saw that in so many places in 2011. so if you're running an authoritarian regime, it is still the case which her best case scenario would be to
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actually have people's consent and you're only going to have people's consent if you're able to perform. so in a place like china, which he said the communist party has achieved performance legitimacy. because 9% economic growth is something that any democracy would like to have come in the fact the chinese communist party has been able to accomplish that for so many decades, it is the case that for many chinese, when they ask themselves at the end of the year, am i better off? the answer is yes. that right there is a form of legitimacy. so that's an important element. the difference is to really go back and look at one particular moment in time for the regime learned something that other regimes have not been facing similar moments. the momentous 1989, 1991. the collapse of the soviet union and the uprising and tian an men square was to twin shock for this regime. i mean, this is the largest internal threat to the communist
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party and their chief partner in the world, really regime did not bosons at an earlier moment no longer exists. so what did the party due? and other government would've turned itself inward. it would've shut itself off from the world. they open themselves up. you want to find the best experts of the soviet union's collapse today. they all did in beijing. that is because after the soviet union collapsed, the party sent his academics and experts to the soviet union and eastern european countries to do an autopsy on their failure. they wanted to understand what happened that led for this government should no longer be there. and then, what are we going to do to make sure we don't follow their example? what his father disappeared at tremendous economic vibrancy. what is followed as they walked back away from ideological rigidity. the regime actually than a few have traveled realize you don't feel like you're in a communist
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country when you're in china. it has explosive economic growth. the fundamental bargain between the government and the people shifted. for a long time we've been bothering ourselves with which he think of us. we prefer campaigns into socialist. he appeared were not going to do that anymore. think what you want. don't even like us if you don't want to. we're going to actually get out of your life a little bit. if you want to make some money and prosper, that's fine. what we ask in return is you show no interest in politics. we maintain the political monopoly. you can have everything else. and if we can agree on these terms, will do quite well together. writeback contactable make an example of you quickly. it's under that formula they have proceeded to great effect. >> you talk about the distinctions between various
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levels and that the local government officials widely regarded as quaker oats, with a national leader is less so. they regarded as technocrats skoda political infighting. as a major story. please forget my pronunciation, when jabal, the first prime minister that to restart his family had amassed a fortune estimated at $2.7 billion was the number. i am curious, we surprised that a major figure in the government was corrupt and was corrected that magnitude quake >> i wasn't remotely surprised. i think everyone believes shocked. the thing to know about when jabal is he supposed to be the good one. he is uncle whined. he is the one the party since far been there's a natural disaster catastrophe because he's most sympathetic to the pico. as many readers he comes from a humble background, but he has
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really been focused as 10 years in power on this level i'm trying to combat the inequality, growing inequality in china while his family has untold riches. we know almost 3 billion. that's what we know of, right? so why is that a problem? i mean, besides the obvious. it's obvious they're lining the pockets. this must be going on at all levels. yes, that's true. the thing that's important is in china today, this has been the case for longer than there's been a communist party. there is a view where is quite good about it does. it was a local official that are corrupt. the officials to close zero considered very corrupt. these are the people there having dealings with. this is the opposite than in the united states.
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it's very popular to the anti-federal government. washington d.c. where i live is a swamp, but we are actually generally as a people much happier with our more local government. states in city government is considered to be in high regard. in china it's the opposite. so when you have stories like this, clearly been so ridiculously corrupt, he challenges the narrative of what happens when people realize the whole system is rotten to the core. and i swear that story and anyone who linked to that story was quickly censored this week. >> that was my question. how widely has the story been disseminated? >> don't underestimate the information if people want to have it. this is a sliver of china because only so much is actually online, so much as the ability to navigate the censorship
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controls. yes, it's being read. >> when people make the claim authoritarian governments can create economic development, they tend to say china and then they say singapore singapore in the same breath. is very democratic underground and singapore? >> areas. but if china has an example, is singapore. the chinese government has been fascinated by singapore and he was the case during the 1990s that the singaporean officials are constantly going to china and the chinese government was studying what was accomplished. obviously it's a tiny city state so it's considered a laboratory from the point of view of china. there has been -- you see the singaporean system being challenged increasingly. but again, it's able because it's so effective. >> so tell us what makes for successful results against the dictatorship? >> there so many elements.
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the challenge in the book is this notion of spontaneous revolution because it's something that we really stand to rethink because we turn on cnn and see tens of thousands of egyptians flooding sharia square. so you can be forgiven for thinking all of a sudden on one particular day tens of thousands of egyptians came to the same conclusion that actually today is the day where we no longer can take it anymore. mubarak has been there 30 years. why did they do it two years earlier? is not as though any they were shutting the strube street band. this is the part of the story that were missing is that were not paying attention when the people challenging these regimes are learning how to chip away at the regime's legitimacy. we are now watching when they're learning how to mobilize the unit. we are not there paying attention when they are figuring out how to craft a political message that will be probably attracted to many, many people.
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they began as the crazies. what are they doing? but it's their ability to widen their numbers that's ultimately a challenge to the regime. spontaneity, spontaneous revolution. he went to anything but dicicco. but they have been doing for years and years is a tedious and often dangerous work of learning from their failure. in all the places i was going, i was watching how they do that. so i said that i was much more optimistic. i'm optimistic because i was shocked and surprised by the unexpected networks that are rising up to actually try to counter the regimes. that is an example of profile called the center for applied nonviolent strategy. canvases make up of serbians who overthrew melissa. these were young people.
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the leader of that, a man named cerda popovich has decided this is what it would do if my life. he is founded this organization in the last nine years they've trained democratic movement and more than 50 countries. the challenge they face is the same again and again. the cultural history could be different. particularities of the regime could be different. but the problem remains broadly the same. so i actually had the opportunity to go and watch the train middle eastern accidents. i spent an entire chapter actually looking at how these activists come to the serbs and how they compare notes. the comparative notices going all the time. so you know, it was the case when i was meeting with egyptian youths. they were talking constantly.
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now again, and other failed movement, the green movement failed. yes, but they learned many valuable things now being used in country after country after country. >> what are the most common mistakes these activists may? >> one in particular is they often believe they are trying to create a movement and they aspire to democracy that their movement should somehow be democratic itself. if we start in a corrupt place, we'll end up in a corrupt place. that's one of the things the serbs say is wrong. i watch the conversation happened between an egyptian in one of the leaders of the serbian movement in 2009, were basically the serbs said wait a minute, are your meetings constantly infiltrated by mubarak's doug's? are they on the street corner right before you get there? the egyptian said yes, yes. that's because you run your movement like the democratic uprising. it's actually a nonviolent guerrilla movement. he said military.
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to succeed in predator regime come you have to approach it almost like a military operation, just about guns. i should say the bred away, right there in the name has to be nonviolent. it's not because they're pacifists. this is a numbers game here between 1,902,005, does uprisings that were violent, 60 to 25% of the time, nonviolent uprising, 60 to make 75% of the time. >> you have what could be seen as the misfortune or great fortune of having your book come out when the story you're writing about was very much in a fluid situation unfolding at the time. it's a good situation for the book because it brought attention. on the other hand come a step to keep track of a moving target. a lot has been happening since you finish the book.
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you wrote in the book today, egypt exists somewhere between dictatorship and democracy. i'm guessing that today was seven or eight months ago is my guess. so today, where he think he should is on the continuum of dictatorship and democracy? >> i wouldn't revise that statement. what is different now, which is an optimistic thing is that in having whatever you want to think about the egyptian military and the muslim brotherhood, it is a positive development but are now competing forces checking each other at the highest level of power. that's a positive development because as i detail in the book, mubarak file, if there is one way to describe at the egyptian regime was it was a military dictatorship. what to wear accomplished was essentially dead his son would not take over. it was a military dictatorship. having the process go forward or
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reset succession? the dodginess, with which groups incher and others have agenda forward since those days is truly positive development for each appears and i find yourself in a situation where the forces are least duking it out if you will. that is the beginning of some real progress. >> the muslim brotherhood at the time, how do you feel about the fact the muslim brotherhood basically seems to the extent the military will allow them to be in charge of the government seemed to worry? >> in some ways it is the muslim brotherhood when they saw the movement incher rear was real, they then joined it. they were pragmatic. it was very helpful because they knew how to organize. they had a lot of doctors. it is their doctors providing medical care in the square. they had a lot of experience and how to protect people at
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rallies. they act out violently. it is in a partnership. you have democratic, young democratic groups that supported the hobbit more see. they did that because they see that that the lesser of two evils. in a place where you been living under mubarak, the lesser of two evils can still be good. >> he wrote in the books at the lack of a major changes just starting to happen in burma as your closing the book and really a lattice happened since then. i'm not even going to try to pronounce the name. you know, she was released and seems to be getting some power. how does the situation in burma fit into your schematic? is a dictatorship is becoming more savvy and some radical changes happening. >> burma is an incredible case. it's watching this happen in an incredibly fast clip. i would argue that burma is
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really the newest regime to try to lock up the dictator's learning curve. this is my opinion now. i don't think one morning the burmese junta of low-carb and said thomas jefferson, yet he had it right. i don't think that's what happened. whatever the specific reasons were his increasing dependency on china, was a recognizing the past of being a pariah state was ultimately one that was not going to benefit them or their heirs. whatever their reason, they realized they were playing abroad and i think it probably is hubris that leads them to believe that they can try to change the machine does quickly. i'm actually very optimistic about the future of burma if only because i do think that the regime is playing with the whitemarsh and. they have a wide margin for error in the speed in which they are moving as one that i wouldn't be surprised if they
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tried to. but now, today it isn't the case and i think this is important. i book does not argue that there are no old-school brush or great dictatorship slept in the world. north korea has slipped into the century. turkmenistan has limped into the country. they exist, but they're not the future. there's no regime in the world looking at north korea saying yes, that's the path. no one wants to be the next north korea. what many of them are doing are experimenting in the ways are trying to be able to interact at the international system, to really gain all the advantages that they can from it without the downside it. without political change. >> one or two more things before we turn things over to the audience. or at the tail end of an intense election system, so i went to taxi about america's role in all this. they do not support the democratic forces and each of
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quickly enough and others for not supporting our ally in the bar at. during the iran green revolution in 2009, many people criticized obama for not joining in the democratic forces. what is your basic take and how the u.s. handled itself and how the rebellions have been going on? >> that's an enormous question. there's ways in which we have -- i think i would be among those who would say we relate to be supportive of change in egypt. i think we should have been there quicker, supporting change. but that said, that might be unrealistic. but we did in iran was actually very well calibrated. but we have to understand is that from from the point of the view, for there to be will change it has to be indigenous. as american people, we have a role in everything and we want to fix it. sometimes the help is not wanted. in the case of serbia, the
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students in serbia and is a of madeleine albright was supported because word got to vent because one of their stickers was on her desk in the state state department while they were active in their fight. they send back a message saying thank you, that's wonderful. we let you are supporting us. nothing would undermine us quicker than for everyone to believe we are some madeleine albright in a ditch, cemex tension of the u.s. government. will lose credibility and immediately. we have to understand these people that are progressive, let's say there's 10% of the country. these people that are really dependent on a camillus either 10% of the country. it's a struggle between the two months to get the majority. so the people you're trying to bring our people that identify themselves as politically. they would say if you asked them what they are, they'll say i've attended a muslim brotherhood meetings, but i'm a small-business owner. that's what i am.
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you need to convince them that there's a better future for you with their set of ideas than what they've known. that's a challenge. that's the context going on. i think it's important to point out that none of the places i went iraq should have fearful of the united states. hugo chavez says he is fearful of the united states. he's not come away with a big? we buy most of the soil. we are the number one buyer. we give them a billion dollars a year to their military. china, one of largest trading partners. we can do nothing internationally if we don't support health diplomatically. the regime doesn't see because are joined at the head. these regimes, with a series their own people. i today fear. >> i think we're going to open fields of questions. i think whoever is first in line to just start off.
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>> how does that answer the plenty of people who want to be the next aside, who want to be the next bovo cissy go. while they may not get support, those people do exist and they do run countries. thank you. >> actually that's not correct. i don't think people want to be the next ken. the next is vladimir putin. they want to be the next hugo chavez. as the nigerian kernel, he's looking to try and create -- your statement is correct with desi watt power our power to live? about the mechanics, but the means to match a using that power, but then making it palatable to pfo. i was in china 10 days after mubarak file, which was an incredible moment as i was meeting with the party officials and they hadn't had time yet to
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revise their talking points. so they did not know because they just happen. you would ask them, and that was when he was one of another top of their top middle east efforts. he said we don't even know what to call this thing that's going on in egypt right now. we don't know how to label it right now. others would say, you know, the reasonable and have been here come the reason these changes will occur here is because you have to understand we are in asian culture. i looked at the guy inside, in egypt was? i've never seen a chinese communist party official blush, but he blush. you could see an aside do not say that anywhere. and so, the point is that they recognize is they have to improve how they play the game. they have to be more intelligent because they believe, chinese commerce party officials their governance is so important and
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one because the next time people assemble in tiananmen square come in maybe 2a. if you get to the point where people are actually assembled, what has gone on that allows them to get that organized? you have to actually succeed as a government to make sure that they doesn't come. so they are focusing on solving things in the here and now. that is much more intelligent than what we see in some of the other machines you mention. next question. >> what is your opinion and the next venezuelan opinion that happened as some might argue shabbos could've lost that election. and also, what to think about chavez's illness, if he eventually has the type of cancer that some people say she has any might pass away in the next 10 years? >> the majority opinion is that the elections in venezuela on
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the day the elections are actually held, you know what, they are free elections. at the ballot. shabbos won that election. the problem is all the other days of the year. the problem is the playing field was so tilted. people like to joke around about chavez that he somehow insane. he's like a fox is what he is because what he has done is he's made democracy, he's denuded it to be nothing more than the act of actually voting because there's nothing democratic otherwise going on in venezuela today. i was in venezuela on one particular day and someone came up to me. it wasn't dvds. they are compact discs with the voting history of 5 million venezuelans. for a dollar 50, was able to purchase a dvd, which gave me the name, address, voting number and how those people had voted in the last three elections.
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that information has been released by the government, was released by the government is in a polarized system like that, if you are an owner of a business, if you want this information because you recognize even if you're anti-chavez, that having that information will be between choosing the person you voted for or against, choosing the person who voted for shabbos might be better business sense for you because it means you will get audited. if you know this, everyone knows this. when oppositional leader put it for me, fear does not leave fingerprints. they've created a system without fear does the work for them. as for the opposition election, the opposition ran a fantastic campaign. they did so much that was right. for the last election, chavez picked up 135,000 votes from the previous pair the opposition picked up 1.9 million. it just wasn't enough. it wasn't enough. so my fear for venezuela is the opposition, which has come so
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far recently and is really taken the last 10 years for them to really jettison people who were part of the future and have really brilliant to next the politicians between the ages of dirty and 45 from the best politicians. i hope they continue doing what they're doing is they're now figuring it out and it's hard to be a dictator. >> i was wondering if you thought the global movement towards democracy is inevitable or unstable and emerging states that look at china and say, let's give up our civil rights for stability and prosperity. >> that's a good question. you know, i think i'm up to mistake. i think the forces for democratic change are strong. i don't think it's inevitable in any way. it's important going back to venezuela. venezuela was the oldest democracy in america. this is it something worth the bean counter, we can move it to the column in your democratic
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miss the major democratic. now come you take care of the democracy you have, so this can swing. many want to be china. it's the only country that wherever i went, everyone talked about china. every authoritarian regime has its view of why it is doing what china's doing away can't do what china's doing. the real answer is you can't do what china's doing. good luck. if there's one basic thing that china understands that a lot of others have, if they know why if they fail, why they will fail. so if nothing else, they're cognizant to it, so they are working late hours trying to make sure that they doesn't come. they note that suharto found in a niche as a poor country and he was kicked out because of the nepotism and corruption. so when the wen jibao story breaks in "the new york times" last week in the diocese on their mind. were doing the same thing suharto and his family are doing. it was his family and children are deeply corrupt.
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no one was saying thank you to suharto at that point. once a thank you for the 9% economic growth. your fillings are a cop for us, not taking care of these people living on $2 a day. it's a small difference, but important difference in the understand that a nurturing to fight against it they actually succeeding economically. next question. >> i was wondering if you had gone to all these different countries around the world and if they are the struggles of the people to overcome their obstacles. have you come across any creative ideas that we could potentially use here in america to try to better our own democracy? >> well, i actually get asked that a lot. i think it is the case that first of what to say at the outset that i never feel that
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comfortable equating with what we are doing here, what people may try to do here at the risk people are taken in these countries. it's a fundamentally different order. but it is the case. we are federal system. there aren't that many statements you can make. we are so many political systems. so, should it surprise you where one party has control, but there are authoritarian impulses perhaps. no, it shouldn't surprise you. the state of georgia last session. they didn't put forward legislation to bring down a credible science or people assemble the seat. for the five people, $10,000 fine. actually, one other person i know in the world did that. vladimir putin suggested just that at the beginning of his new
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presidential term. there is a small opposition for the party in the case is the georgia legislature that is able to stop it. but there's a couple seats away from having a republican in that state. it's competing forces. so i'll leave it at that. we have time for one more question. >> hi, i was wondering what is your view when ms changed took place in china in the sense that were going to move away from a one-party authoritarian regime because what i have been to be touring around the state and put the eminem power transition and the wen jibao scandal. do you think that change will come from the government, the middle class or the margaret
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workers? >> if i knew the answer to that question, but i think that change will come. i will say right now i would read -- i'm not going to venture a guess as to men, but the change will come from the bottom up because i think as much as the party is doing things to try to innovate, it's not that it quickly enough. i think china is a place as any of you know moves quickly. i think that the party is still ill-equipped, although trying to keep out. how will that? i point to a possibility and an example of how the party is ill-suited to face this challenge. in 2006 there was a benzene spill and this is a tremendous buildup release all the poisonous chemical into the river. well, when that happened, the provincial governor got there and didn't know what to do. who knows who is responsible. visit the factory, was that the government because they looked
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the other way and were bribed and didn't make the company used the controls they should've used. who knows. but the thing is as the bill made its way down the river, the parliament -- the provincial government told no one. it made its way down the river. people live on this river. eventually it's going to move into another province. so finally, they called and said okay, there's something you need to know. it's a hundred million gallons of this poison coming into your river and it's going to go into john province and had to harping, the city of millions. we've known this for a while. we didn't tell you, sorry about that, but she need to notice. the government there didn't want to be honest with people either. so what ben said it would stop using the water, stay away from the river. what did people do quite they believed there was about to be
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an earthquake in conspiracy aerie spread like wildfire. perhaps for central government found out. that then goes to russia. this is the type of thing that will really because it is not prepared to deal with problems. this was a problem because there is no reward for sticking on a slight upward. so they knew, even if they were to be accountable, even though wasn't their mistake. these environmental problems, health problems, the stars epidemic of a number of years ago, these are things the party is ready to deal with. and so, i think that their days are numbered ultimately, that in the end, but is that number? but it's hard to be a dictator and i think it's